knitting it up in a big way

Tag Archives: sweater

Last September I asked you guys to cast your vote on what yarn I should use to knit the featherweight cardigan, and you chose lace weight strandavarious.

IMG_0692

FO: featherweight champion <– ravelry project page

Pattern: Featherweight Cardigan by Hannah Fettig
Yarn: Laceweight Strandavarious, somewhere in the neighborhood of 600-700 yards
Needles: US size 6 (4.0mm)

IMG_0673

This was a fairly uneventful knit. The pattern is clear and easy to follow, so it was just miles of stockinette as I made my way through. I made it a shorter as I don’t have as many cardigans that work well with the skirts I tend to wear at my natural waist, so I thought I’d make this one fit that bill. I don’t mind how it looks with a longer tee, either. This did leave quite a bit of the skein leftover though.

IMG_0649

As suspected, I preferred the reverse stockinette side. I made sure to sew in my ends in carefully so they wouldn’t be visible from either side, and I picked up stitches for the collar 2 stitches in to create a tidy ‘visible seam’ look. This is what I’m most proud of in this knit. I also did a sewn tubular bind off. It’s a bit of work, but it really makes the finished product feel polished, you know?

IMG_0659

I would absolutely use this pattern again. It makes a very wearable cardigan. Next time, I’d probably opt for a slightly longer cardigan.


it’s done!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

DSC_0306

i have already documented this sweater fairly extensively, so if you feel like reading the whole history: swatching & casting on, getting part way through the body only to tear back to the yoke, finishing the body and finalizing color choices, steeking, grafting on the button band & finding the right buttons.

FO: stash busting fair isle extravaganza

pattern: classic raglan pullover by barbara walker
needles: size 8 (5.0mm)
yarn: patons north america wool worsted in oatmeal (natural mix is technically what it’s called. it looks oatmeal to me)
cascade ecological wool in a medium grey (leftover from these slippers)
brown sheep lambs pride worsted in tahiti teal (leftover from this hat)
berroco ultra alpaca fine in turquoise mix, held double (leftover from this sweater)
some random navy worsted wool
and a little bit of lion brand wool-ease in apple green

DSC_0298

i cast on for this in january, using the standard pattern for knitting a raglan from the top down, from barbara walker’s book knitting from the top, though it was obviously heavily modified. that is the joy of a pattern like this, though! it’s quite easy to apply any modification you can imagine. i knit it as a deep v-neck pullover first, and then steeked it into a cardigan. i knit the button band separately and grafted it on, placed the buttons and then made afterthought buttonholes. there’s a column of 2 purls running down the inside of each sleeve and the sides of the torso to mimic seams (which i stole from julie’s red sweater) and to give it the tiniest bit more shape and structure.

DSC_0313
you can see the steeked edge and the purl column in this picture!

there was a lot of ‘winging it’ involved in knitting this. i didn’t have the strictest plans for my colorwork patterning, or color sequencing, but i went in expecting i was going to have to tweak it and pull back and replace things in post with a tapestry needle (basically duplicate stitching while pulling out the original color. a little on the time consuming side, but somehow more acceptable to my brain than pulling back and re-knitting). and i did all of those things. i pulled out knitting, replaced about four different parts, re-calculated the entire sweater, you name it, i probably did it.

DSC_0307

i started this sweater in the hopes of using up some of my stash, namely the oatmeal base, and a lot of most-of-the-skein leftovers from other projects. slightly on the annoying side, i didn’t actually finish ANY of these skeins. i still have most of an oatmeal skein leftover (which i may still use up, see below), and a not teensy amount of most of these skeins. ah, well. at least i have a beautiful sweater to show for my efforts!

DSC_0312

so, while i am definitely calling this done, and wearing it around and such, there are a few small things that i may change in the future. i have not quite mastered how to make button bands that i approve of in cardigans. they are already warping slightly, and this makes the sweater look quite ‘handmade’, but not in a way that i like. so i’ve bought some ribbon to back the bands, give them more structure. is there any other method you guys suggest?

DSC_0291

i also had a deeper shawl collar in mind for this sweater, so i might knit some extra depth for the top portion of it and graft it on later… thus hopefully using up the leftover yarn.

this cardigan turned out so well, i’m incredibly pleased! it’s thick and squishy, it could practically be a coat in spring and fall, and another super cozy layer in winter.

DSC_0310

see those misty looking lumps of land out on the horizon? those are the aran islands. we didn’t get there this trip as we had time for one excursion from galway and we chose the cliffs of moher, which i don’t regret in the least. but i’m definitely hoping to make it to the aran islands one day! and i couldn’t resist getting FO pictures of my sweater with such a icon of knitting history in the background!

on a side note, i found out on this trip that the history of the aran sweater is a created history, like the scottish tartans. i’m of two minds about this, where the accuracy loving historian part of me is frustrated by this ‘created culture’ and the ‘don’t let the facts stand in the way of a good story’ part of me thinks it’s actually quite interesting. what are your thoughts on created culturalisms?


i have really been making an effort this year not to get fed up with winter. and, for the most part, i’ve been succeeding. every day that it reaches -18 fahrenheit here, i know that my dad has dealt with -30 fahrenheit, which really helps to keep my attitude in check. but what i have been getting frustrated with is my cold weather gear. i feel like only a tiny percentage of my wardrobe has been seen in the last three months, and frankly, i’m pretty sick of seeing only that tiny percentage. so i’ve been making an effort, diving into lesser used corners of my wardrobe to try and feel like i can still have fun getting dressed.

DSC_0019

in this case, a longer wool pleated skirt that i inherited from my grandma, but is too heavy most of the year. it gets pushed to the back, where i tend to kind of forget about it.

DSC_0013

it’s also cold enough that most outfit pictures happen as close to the warmth of indoors as possible. more interesting locales will happen when it’s warm enough to do more than dash from indoor space to indoor space!

inherited from grandma talbots scarf, wool pleated skirt – thrifted old navy sweater – j. crew boots

DSC_0009


still chugging away on my sweater. this is where i am as of today:

image

not too bad, eh? torso is done. i decided to repeat the aqua triangles and navy stripe/dot detail at the bottom of the torso, and i’ll be doing that for the sleeves too. it makes me ever so mildly cranky, as this means that this project won’t actually use up the dark teal that i used as the base for the ‘xo’ pattern at the yoke (it’s still a yoke if it’s a raglan, right?)

i put up this picture on social media to get everyone’s input on which dot color to use:

image

after hearing everyone out, i’m 98% sure that the green is the winner. i like that it’s an outlier in the color palette, but it doesn’t distract from anything else. feel free to argue your point if you disagree, though!

image

last weekend we helped a friend prep the family shoe store for moving. it was a lot of physical work, but it was also fun. i really appreciated how simple and visual the tasks were. move things, take down shelves, sweep. look, a clear room! there’s something about tasks like this at a time when other things are murky or unquiet that makes them all the more satisfying.

image

we found some graffiti, too! nobody knows who wrote it, or who jennifer ann is. this weeks update was filmed while we were doing this, and it was pretty fun, if you want to check it out:

for brunch the other day, we we had the usual standbys, foodwise, but i was feeling like mixing it up. so i made ‘egg-in-the-hole’, which jake called ‘eggy in toast’:

image

also going fairly strong in my efforts to buy less food and therefore throw out less food. leftover rice was used for a very traditional purpose!

image

fried rice! my first attempt. definitely fast and easy enough that this will become a mainstay. i honestly had no idea it was so easy, otherwise this would have happened a looooong time ago. i used this recipe, with teriyaki tofu instead of chicken. it was a tad bland. i’ll probably get adventurous in the future, but i do like to stick pretty close to the original the first time i make a recipe.

what’s going on with you guys? any fun plans this weekend?


cabled cardigan/yellow skirt

cabled cardigan/yellow skirt

handmade cowlthrifted – ralph lauren sweater, mustard skirt – j crew striped shirt, belt, wool blend tights (under the leggings) – target leggings – l.l. bean bean boots

i was having a stupid face day when we took these pictures. so i opted out of all pictures that focused on my face. some days i photograph great, and some days when i review the pictures i just wonder what my face was up to and why it couldn’t manage to look normal. silly face.

cabled cardigan/yellow skirt


IMG_2467

this is what my couch looks like when i’m… ‘experimenting’. i decided i wanted to start the year off with a project that would really make a dent in my stash. preferably using up multiple yarns that i only have small projects worth of. how to do that? fair isle sweater, of course!

i started off in a fairly logical manner, looking at patterns that i already owned, and settling on the nordic cardigan from vogue knitting, fall 2011. it’s really cute, right? and look how cute squidneyknits version turned out! so i made up a swatch in brownscale:

IMG_2468

only… i hated this swatch. it’s hard to tell in the picture, but the base color has a kind of ‘clay’ tone, with a very slight green cast. and the brown is very very red-based. so, visually, it was not playing out for me. so scratch that… swatch #2:

image

ehhh…. that brighter blue feels kind of obnoxious compared to the calmer blues to me…

and then, even though i wasn’t happy with either of my swatches, all of a sudden i was fed up, and cast on for a sweater. that’s probably a *good* idea, right?

but, it’s actually going okay. here it was a few days ago, with neon red nails:

image

i decided that the cream was not high enough contrast with the beige, so i went back in with a tapestry needle and yarn and replaced it with grey.

and here it is now, with dark green nails:

image

i’m using barbara walker’s top down raglan sweater recipe as my base, using some gorgeous fair isle sweaters from pinterest as inspiration (this one but really mostly actually this one, ugh can you even stand how pretty it is?).

i’m making it a v-neck cardigan, though i haven’t decided if once i get to the bottom of the v, if i want to knit it in the round and steek it later, or knit it flat? and i really didn’t think this through, this was literally the only size 8 (5.00mm) i could find, and honestly, it’s meant for hats, and i have loads of stitches crammed on there. this project could really go south at any point. but it’s kind of fun that way, you know? i’m having fun winging it. speaking of which, i’m still not certain about the color of the little polka dots… that blue is still way too bright, and the grey-green is too similar to the grey that is practically next to it. but i’m okay with going back and replacing that later… once i figure out what to replace it with! i have a kind of periwinkle blue (from my dreiecke), maybe getting a slightly purple-ish yarn would add a bit of contrast? or like leaf green? maybe coral? or is that wayyyy too out there?

anyways, that’s what i’ve been up to, knitting wise! anybody horrified, think i should stop immediately and go back to the planning portion? or do you have any surprisingly happy stories of total on a lark projects turning out beautifully and becoming your favorite thing ever?


DSC_0001

a little over two years ago, i finished a big striped sweater for jake (and here’s the link to the ravelry project page). even then i knew that there was too much space between the buttons (which led to gapping), and my button bands were a bit too long, which warped the front of the sweater a bit.

DSC_0016

so i grabbed a zipper (a dark brown parka zipper, 28″ long, to be precise) from a fabric store, and as we were settling in for a two day marathon of watching harry potter over new years eve & new years day, i thought it might be a good time to pull off this alteration. it was a good plan, as it turned out. it took me the majority of both days to finish up, which i wasn’t really expecting.

DSC_0002

the sequence went as follows:
-i picked out the sewn bind off (a bit of a time suck right there)
-pulled out the original button bands (122 stitches)
-did some maths to cast on a different number (114 stitches. only an 8 stitch difference, which was rather less than i was expecting, but that’s how the maths worked out)
-knit up both button bands
-grafted/kitchenered them on to the body (both a tidy aesthetic, and it allowed me to disperse the stitches quite evenly)
-hand sewed the zipper onto the new button bands
-did a little dance

DSC_0021

this is SO MUCH BETTER. it has to be really really cold for jake to wear sweaters, but hey, guess what? it’s been really really cold around here recently. i’m so glad it’s not gapping anymore. it made it look like the sweater was too small, but it actually fits him quite well. and i think he’ll wear it more frequently with the zipper in.

DSC_0027

but because this was one of my very earliest sweaters, there are still things i kind of wish i could change… is the neck too big? i’m not sure i’m crazy about the way it looks fully zipped… should i try to pull that out and tighten it up too? and why did i choose to use that bright green for the crocheted steek edge? it’s too flashy when you can see the inside of the collar! i’m thinking about picking up some narrow chocolate brown ribbon to sew over it. or am i getting too detail oriented here? what do you think? and now i’ve got those beautiful buttons, attached to nothing! i’m thinking of knitting down some of my naturals/oatmeals/browns in a colowork cardigan. maybe it would look lovely with those?

DSC_0006



%d bloggers like this: